Artificial Intelligence and blockchain are two tendencies that are setting the tone for startups. For instance, the number of active AI startups has increased by 1400% since 2000 and more than 90% of all major banks in North America and Europe are exploring blockchain. More and more young innovative minds are now focusing on these two tendencies and YES!Delft wants to put them one step ahead of the others.
We are highlighting four cool startups that are working with AI and blockchain. Tech startups that have discovered the potential of machine learning and AI to bring unique value to the market or that are using blockchain to enable circular economy. Check it out to read all about these great innovators and see how you can benefit from working with YES!Delft.
Envision is all about empowering the visually impaired to live more independently. Founded by entrepreneurial duo Karthik Mahadevan and Karthik Kannan, the company has developed an AI-powered tool to do that.
It all started a few years back when Karthik M. visited a school for visually impaired children in India, and asked them about the biggest challenge they’re facing. The most common answer: to become more independent. That experience, together with a keen interest in AI, set him on a journey to find a solution. “I’m a designer,” he says. “Finding solutions is what I do.”
He teamed up with Karthik K. and in early 2017, they laid the foundation of Envision. In only a year, they have developed software that can be applied to a number of different platforms and is currently available as a smartphone app. With it, visually impaired people can use their phone to take pictures of objects, people or scenes, and immediately understand what is in front of or around them. In their own language, too.
Mesbah Sabur and Jordi de Vos, founders of Circularise, saw a problem in the way recycling works. There is a communications barrier between product manufacturers, end users and recyclers, that prevents materials from being disposed of as efficiently as possible. The two have, thus, created a software platform that aims to break down that barrier and give people a space to collaborate.
To solve that problem, they developed a platform where relevant stakeholders would come together and have direct access to any information on raw materials they might need. “Our goal is to solve these communication barriers in the value chain and enable a circular economy,” both Mesbah and Jordi explain.
By purchasing the Circularise label that they can put on their products, brands are sure to get the data they are most interested in. Users, in turn, get a unified customer experience across different brands and a digital passport for all their products – everything from interactive user manuals to warranty tracking.
Most importantly, though, manufacturers have access to a platform where they can log in details about the materials they use in their products, and lock that data in time, without sharing it with third parties. “We are building the system with blockchain technology combined with zero knowledge, so everyone in the value chain can communicate about products without having to share sensitive information.”
This startup uses machine learning and AI to help businesses improve their predictive maintenance capabilities. Its innovative AI driven Predictive Maintenance platform collects and analyzes all types of data, providing users with quick and actionable insights about the state of their assets.
“We live in an information-driven society,” Victor Pereboom, one of the co-founders, says. “There are large amounts of data that we need to measure, and AI enables us to squeeze more insights out of it.” That is especially true for businesses that deal with ever-growing amounts of data on a daily basis.
While many might see the deriving actionable output as their biggest challenge, Victor and his team think a few steps ahead: “The challenge is actually in getting the right input.”
Basing results on incomplete or not fully relevant data is as good as basing them on no data at all. Thus, Dutch Analytics – now a team of 13 – make sure that they are transparent with their clients and work hand-in-hand with them to collect, process and analyze their data. After all, the beauty of an AI platform is its ability to learn as more data comes in, so it’s crucial for it to be learning the right lessons.
Olympian is an education technology company that builds AI systems to personalize courses for users by estimating their skill level and preferences. This is integrated in their own education platform, where they teach people the subject of artificial intelligence and how to apply it.
They also participated in the YES!Delft Validation and, according to co-founder Jackie Xu, the most important lesson they got from it was to take a step back and quantify their product decisions. “Instinctively we all have a gut feeling when a decision is good or bad. Sometimes this gut feeling is entirely right, and other times it’s way off. Later on, a third party might comment on one of your earlier decisions that makes you go “Duh! Of course, that makes so much sense now!”. What you learn during the Validation Lab is to have these moments before you’ve spent resources on changing the product, not after”, explains Jackie.
These four startups are a part of the tech incubator YES!Delft’s.Now, with our help, YES!Delft is looking for new promising innovators to join their Validation Lab. We are looking for innovative startups, solutions or ideas based on AI or Blockchain technologies and who are ready to kickstart their growth within YES!Delft’ special Validation Lab.
The Validation Lab provides innovators with the right tools and structure needed to bring their idea to the market. This program acts as a 10-week pressure cooker, where early-stage startups are brought together to validate their business ideas and find their Product-Market fit. For one day, every week, they will be guided and challenged by the dedicated Validation Lab team (startup trainer, assigned mentors, YES!Delft coordinator) to Get Out Of The Building (GOOB) and start talking with their customers. By the end of the program, they will know for sure whether they should pursue full-time the dream of building their own business.